Do you live miles away from your mother? Have you called her lately? If the answer to the last question is no, you should think about inviting her over and spending more time with her. A 2012 study says that if you spend more time with her, chances are she will live longer. Moreover, the study concluded that loneliness is a significant factor in the decline of quality of life in older adults. These include the risk of depression, cognitive impairment, and health problems like coronary artery disease, all of which may lead to an earlier death. So, would you spend more time with your dearest ones now?
The study looked at 1,600 adults with an average age of 71. Researchers found that 23 percent of participants who said they were lonely died in a span of six years. Meanwhile, only 14 percent of those who said they had companionship have died during the same period.
The results were published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, a journal published by the American Medical Association. The findings stayed consistent even after accounting for health and socioeconomic status.
Another study published in the PLoS Medicine journal in 2010 found that social ties are also important for extending life.
“Our social relationships are important not only to our quality of life, but also our longevity,” study author Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, told WebMD.
“Throughout human history, we have relied on others for survival such as protection and food, and despite modern advancements that may [help with] certain aspects of survival so that we can live more independently, it appears that our relationships nonetheless still impact odds of survival,” she claims.
Research has shown that loneliness and social isolation can be terrible for overall health. Loneliness is even more dangerous than smoking or obesity. One thing you can do to help yourself is spending time with loved ones, which leads to laughter. Laughing is a powerful antidote to declining health. It also boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, and stimulates both blood flow and mental activity.
Spend more time with your parents because they will benefit from that, too.
Grandparents are also helpful when it comes to taking care of your children. Research shows that grandparents who babysit are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia. Your kids will also love it!
Here are some grandparents who are doing more interesting things with their lives than you.